we will become dust under their feet.
United, we are fire burning on their heads.
– Komram Bheem
Adivasis comprise 8% of India’s population, but thus far no constructive efforts have been made to move towards foundation of a National level Platform of Adivasi Students. The caste based political system continues to suppress Adivasis at all levels. Despite special provisions and guarantees to Adivasis for self-rule provided by the Indian constitution, Adivasis have only 6% reservations. In 1935 under British laws, 212 tribes were recognized, but this increased to 412 by the time the constitution came into effect. Now more then 890 communities have been recognized as Scheduled Tribes. Many state governments continue to make efforts to recognize other castes as STs, in response to demands by these castes to be recognized as STs. Recently, the Telangana government appointed the Chellappa commission to identify new castes to be included as STs. The Andhra Pradesh government passed a resolution in the State Assembly to recognize the Boya community as STs and sent the resolution to the Central Government. Similar efforts are being made in Madhya Pradesh and other states.
Adivasis are being neglected by political parties, where the leadership is informed by their caste. They are marginalized in all mainstream political parties and are merely being viewed as vote-banks. Adivasis have minimal and continually declining opportunities under reservations in education, employment, and in political representation. They also are being rapidly displaced and alienated from their livelihoods, resources and fast losing control over their land. Absence of unity amongst Adivasis, is a key factor, enabling the destruction of Adivasi lives, who are the original inhabitants of this country.
It is in this context, that we the students of Adivasi communities are organizing a dialogue to strategise towards the formation of a National level Adivasi Students Forum. This is a first-time ever initiative and we are open to suggestions and discussions. Our objective is to bring people together who have attempted to create a platform/ forum for Adivasi students in the past. We believe that Adivasi students are central to advance the larger Adivasi movement for self-rule. We commit to collectively explore new strategies and solutions to address our long standing issues.
Date of the meeting: 22nd and 23rd September 2018.
With movement greetings,
Rama Rao Dora. M: 8639661958, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivekananda Sidam. M: 977445836, Email: email@example.com
A Common Platform For Adivasi Issues: Telangana Adivasi Students
On September 22nd and 23rd 2018, Adivasi students from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa gathered at at Narsapur, Medak District, Telangana. With assistance from the Yakshi foundation, this two day program provided an important avenue for Adivasi students to better understand various problems that their communities are facing and to build solidarity amongst the different Adivasi groups. One Adivasi student leader, Vikah Kudmethe, provided details on the problems facing Adivasis in Maharashtra. Raju, a representative from Orissa, described various accounts of human rights violation in the Adivasi areas of Orissa. The majority of the discussions was on working towards protecting the rights of Adivasis over jal, jungle and jameen, and other burning issues. The coordinator of the program, Rama Rao Dora, journalist and activist from Andhra Pradesh, highlighted the importance for a national common platform, for adivasi students. Hence, a resolution was passed to conduct the next meeting in November 2018, Delhi with the intention to build a common platform with adivasis living in the 5th Scheduled Areas.
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